Hazardous Materials Shipping at UVM


Risk Management and Safety provides services to assure hazardous materials are shipped by air, land or sea, in accordance with all regulatory requirements. Hazardous materials may include:

  • dangerous goods  (flammable, corrosive, reactive, toxic substances)
  • biological materials
  • samples in dry ice 


If you have a question about whether a substance or item you are trying to ship is a hazardous material or dangerous good, contact Safety staff at safety@uvm.edu

WARNING:  Failure to comply with regulations for shipping hazardous materials can result in significant civil penalties for the shipper of up to $50,000.00 per violation.  Regulations require that only properly trained personnel are to prepare shipments and documents for hazardous materials shipments.  Safety staff have the required training.  Please contact us for assistance with hazardous material shipments.

To request assistance for shipments:   

  • Please provide the Safety staff with advanced notice (at least 3 business days).
  • Call Safety staff at 656-5400 or submit a request to safety@uvm.edu
  • Provide information using forms linked below.


Do the following before putting any shipment together:

  • Contact Safety staff to assist with the shipment. Please be specific about what biological materials you need to ship and describe what chemical or media materials is required to maintain viability of the sample during the shipment. Also, please indicate whether dry ice is to be used in the packaging.
  • Be certain to have a supply of dry ice if necessary. 
  • If the shipment is going domestic travel by Air, double check that you have an appropriate FedEx Air Waybill.  International waybills differ from domestic waybills, and carriers (Fedex, DHL) have specific air waybills that must be used. Waybills may be filled out online, but you must register online and get a login from the carrier. Ascertain whether or not your lab has an account, or your department has an umbrella account for shipments. If they have an account, check for hard copy air waybills. If not, you may register online and fill out associated documents on the carrier websites.
  • To prepare for an international shipment, you must have your recipient check for any necessary import permits that may be required to bring your materials and shipment into the destination country. Each country has specific requirements. If appropriate paperwork is not received by the customs officials in the destination country, the material will not be allowed entrance. In some instances, the customs office may contact you and paper work will be rushed, and in other cases the package will be destroyed. Therefore, it is highly imperative to work out paperwork requirements before sending the package to an international location.
  • International shipments also require a "Commercial Invoice". These can be found online. Hard copies are also available at local Fed Ex offices. 
  • Work with Safety staff to properly classify the material you are shipping. If you are not appropriately trained, Safety staff can assist with packaging the materials appropriately. You will be required to pay for and supply the proper packaging materials.

If you need to ship any radioactive materials, STOP and contact Radiation Safety staff by calling (802) 656-2570.

Shipping Service

Safety staff can advise on proper packaging, labeling and preparation of paperwork for the shipment.  Packing supplies must be supplied by the lab/shipper.  If dry ice is required, the lab/shipper must provide this as well.  The requestor is responsible for assuring all shipping costs are paid.


The preparers of shipments of hazardous materials must be trained in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  Safety staff maintains trained individuals to provide shipping services to UVM labs.  We also provide IATA biological shipping classroom style training training to individuals in labs who make routine shipments of some types of biological materials.  This training is provided every 3 years and also reviews what you need to know before shipping with dry ice; the most recent training was 2012.  

Guide to Shipping with Dry Ice